Promoting Medical Innovation and Access, Together (Global Challenges Brief on Trilateral Cooperation)
(2015; 4 pages)

Krattiger A, T Bombelles, HG Bartels, Z Mirza, P Beyer, A Taubman, J Watal and R Kampf. 2015. Promoting Medical Innovation and Access, Together. Trilateral Cooperation between WHO, WIPO and WTO. Global Challenges Brief on Trilateral Cooperation, WIPO: Geneva.


Improving access to, and promoting innovation in, health technologies are crucial to improving public health. These twin global challenges must involve stakeholders from all sectors: private, public, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

This paper addresses the trilateral partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Each has distinct, but complementary, mandates to work on issues relating to public health, innovation, intellectual property (IP), and trade. As such, these organizations share a responsibility to strengthen dialogue among themselves and their partners to fulfil their mandates more effectively, to ensure efficient and coherent use of resources for technical cooperation.

Of the three organizations, WHO’s work is the most directly relevant to public health, as it is the directing and coordinating authority for global health. But the process of achieving public health is complex and takes place within a broader policy environment that raises a range of issues relating to, for example, innovation, access, IP, and trade. This underlines the need for cooperation to assist countries in implementing policies that cut across the complex and interconnected areas of public health, IP and trade.

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